Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Five Minute Friday: In Between

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In between the moments that I am in Your presence, Father, I am lost.

I am fully alive when I stay connected to You. I am more than a conqueror when I stay close to Your heart. I am whole as a woman when I walk with You and commune with You. I am everything I need to be as I learn to trust You and live in oneness with Your Spirit. Why do I try to do things apart from You? Help me, Lord, to live every moment completely interconnected and surrendered to You. Amen.

“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who has loved us.” Romans 8:37 (Weymouth New Testament)

Today, I spontaneously decided to join Lisa Jo Baker in the Five Minute Friday challenge. The rule is for everyone who participates to write for only five minutes on the same prompt. This week’s prompt was, “In Between.” I must be a slow thinker because very few words came to mind in five minutes. I pray that you all will have fewer in between moments and more in the Spirit moments.

Five Minute Friday

 

Simplicity Changes Everything

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At a time when my life seemed overwhelming, I read an article in the Atlanta Journal about voluntary simplicity. It was a fascinating article featuring several families that chose to leave the rat race behind and live a simpler life like Jesus did. It inspired me greatly. It seemed impossible at the time because I had accumulated so much stuff after eleven years of living in the same house.

It was 1997 when I read the article and began focusing on getting rid of the unnecessary things in my life. Every year, I would clean out clutter by donating loads of stuff to thrift stores and selling some things. My goal evolved from living with less clutter to keeping only what a typical vacation home would have.

After spending many summers working on simplifying, I am reaping the fruit of my labor. Although, I am not 100% at my goal, my house is so easy to keep clean. I spend very little time looking for things, and I have so much more time to do what I love and enjoy.

I am free from letting my stuff define me. I have overcome the “more is better” philosophy of the Western world. I have a new mindset.

It’s so easy in America to fall into the trap of believing that happiness is attained through material possessions. Spiritually speaking, material stuff doesn’t do anything for our souls. Owning too much stuff can even stress and overwhelm us.

A simplistic mindset changes every aspect of life. It frees up our schedules. It makes relationships easier. It allows us to get more things accomplished. It frees us to enjoy the simple beauty of nature. But most importantly, it gives us more time to nurture our spirits. Simplicity truly changes everything.

In this chaotic world, when we take time to be still, Christ beckons us with His love to come and enter into His presence and enjoy His treasures. In the quiet moments, I can hear Him whispering, I have all that your heart longs for. In Me, you will find treasures that cannot be lost or stolen. In Me alone, you will find perfect satisfaction.

We can’t take our stuff with us when we pass on. So why not spend most of our time investing in eternal treasures? No matter how much others are reveling in their material possessions, there is freedom in knowing that happiness grows from within the spirit.

I believe following Christ and simple living go hand in hand. Have you tried simplifying? I pray that you will find peace and contentment in Christ alone.

“Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”  Matthew 6:20 (New Living Translation)

To read more about simplicity, visit my favorite simple living website. http://lovingsimpleliving.com

Photography Credit: Michael von Borstel

Summertime Beauty

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Summertime symbolizes so many different things. It’s a time to rest and slow down. It’s a time to enjoy all the beautiful flowers that thrive in the heat. It’s a time to be still and relax in the moments when there’s no work or home-schooling or meetings to attend.

When I think of all my summertime memories, I think of lying in a hammock with a good book. I think of picnics and watermelons.

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I think of jumping in the refreshing, cool water after a jog. I think of crossing the finish line at the Peachtree Road Race. I think of fireworks on the Fourth of July. I think of catching fireflies in a jar and playing hide ‘n’ seek with the neighborhood kids.

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I think of camping and walking on the beach at dusk. I think of romance. I think of candle light dinners on the patio. I think of the sweetness of fresh blueberries and the sunflowers coming into full bloom.

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But most of all, summertime reminds me of Jesus. He draws us into rest, calling us to slow down and find refreshment in Him. He gives us more excitement than a fireworks show and carries us through to the finish line when we’re struggling to carry on. He makes life beautiful in the same way that summertime does.

Christ brings summertime sweetness and perfect rest to the soul.

On this beautiful summer day, I can hear Jesus whispering, Come to Me and find what your soul is longing for. Come and find rest in your spirit and mind. I am here waiting to embrace you with My love.

Are you enjoying the rest that comes in the summer season? I pray you will enjoy all the beauty of summer and experience the sweetness of God’s unwavering love.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)

“So he said to them, ‘Let’s go to a place where we can be alone and rest for awhile.’…” Mark 6:31 (God’s Word Translation)

Photography Credit: Michael von Borstel

Bible Study Blessings

If you’re looking for a way to connect with people of faith, I would recommend attending or hosting a Bible study group. There’s a great website with resources for those seeking to host a neighborhood Bible study…www.nbs2go.com

The Bible study group I got involved with blessed my life in unimaginable ways. I recently wrote a guest post sharing about my experience with a neighborhood Bible study. I’m excited to share my story with you.

 

Unexpected Blessings

I could’ve never dreamed of the blessings that would come from my involvement in a neighborhood Bible study. I hadn’t planned to be a part of a Bible study group. I got involved in a roundabout way.

It all started when my boss approached me at my job, saying, “Amy, would you be interested in being the babysitter for the neighborhood Bible study where I attend?”

I worked at a children’s gymnastics facility and loved children. So I excitedly wrote down the name and telephone number of the leader of the study, and got in touch with her within a few days.

I’ll never forget the first conversation I had with the leader, Laurie. When we talked I could hear the enthusiasm in her voice. She began telling me how they had prayed for God to send a new children’s caregiver to the study.

With excitement, Laurie said, “Our previous babysitter was named Amy. She was a compassionate and caring lady. We’ve been praying for God to send us another “Amy” and He literally sent us another Amy!” We chuckled together as she said, “God has a sense of humor, doesn’t He?”

To read the remainder of the story click here.

New Life

 

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The beauty in nature speaks to my soul deeply. The day lilies are in full bloom in my yard, and they are stunning.  I spent some time this afternoon tending to my flowers. While pulling the dead blooms off, I began pondering how God is so good at removing the splinters in my heartHe takes away those things that deaden my spirit.

I could hear His soft words in my heart.

“Your heart comes more alive each time you allow me to purify it. In Me, You are able to grow more beautiful. Come to Me and allow My healing balm to give you new life every day.”

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During the times I’ve had hurt hidden deep inside, God has come and healed me as I released it to Him. Unresolved hurt left untended robs my spirit of joy and peace. Years ago, I discovered that as I allow the Lord to tend to my heart the way I tend to my yard, that He’ll keep it pure.

How about you? Have you felt God’s healing balm working on your heart lately? Jesus is the One who heals broken hearts. When my heart was hurting, I bowed down before Him and prayed, Lord, please heal my hurt; please take away this ache in my soul and fill me with Your peace. He answered the cries of my heart and replaced my pain with His beauty.

Trying to soothe hurts with alcohol, with drugs, busyness, or any other thing doesn’t work. It might feel a little better temporarily. But the hurt is still there. It’s only a temporary fix. Jesus offers a healing balm that brings abundant new life that’s beautiful and eternal.

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This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (ESV)

Photography Credit: Michael von Borstel